Specialty Food Magazine

JAN-FEB 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 125 of 159

(continued from p. 26) FOOD TRENDS Slow Money Alliance C ited by entrepreneur.com as "one of the top five trends in finance in 2011," the Slow Money Alliance held its third annual conference in San Francisco in October. This progressive movement focuses on investing in local food pro- ducers and farmers as a way to strengthen the economy and communities. It featured investment opportunities for dozens of enterprises on the cutting edge of food trends, but also offered attendees the opportunity to participate in an emerg- ing national conversation about how to fix the economy from the ground up. More than 1,000 people from 34 states and several foreign countries attended Slow Money's first two national gatherings, and since last year's conference, more than $4 million has been invested, and an additional $5 mil- lion has flowed to dozens of small food enterprises. "We showcased 30 new food and farming entrepre- neurs at the Slow Money National Gathering this year, all of them currently seeking capital," says David Corson-Knowles, associate director of Slow Money. The organization has 2,400 members including, he adds, "investors, entrepreneurs, farmers, philanthropists and everyday folks concerned about where their food comes from and where their money is going." For more information, visit slowmoney.org. Food Fat Taxes F oods high in saturated fat are wearing a much higher price tag in Denmark and Hungary. Both countries have introduced the food fat tax. The new law in Denmark taxes staples like butter and milk, plus cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed foods that contain more than 2.3 percent saturated fat, while in Hungary citi- zens pay a tax on foods with high fat, sugar and salt content, as well as increased tariffs on soda and alcohol. Both governments hope to limit the populations' intake of fatty foods and decrease obesity rates, but it looks like Hungary alone has the agreement of some scientists, who argue against Denmark's tax, stating that saturated fat may be the wrong target, with salt, sugar and refined carbohydrates posing bigger obstacles to good health. Denmark's move has incited international critiques: The Food Industry Group of New Zealand stated in a press release that the measure is unlikely to have any positive effects on national obesity levels; rather, it will only increase tax revenues. Facebook Helps Small Businesses Y ou'll "Like" this one. Facebook has teamed up with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help American small businesses grow and create jobs. Facebook has emerged as an important marketing tool for entrepreneurs, with more than half of the 800 million users connecting to a small business. The social site hopes to give small businesses a boost by helping them find customers through recom- mendations from friends. Initiatives are already in place. Facebook is providing busi- nesses with webinars, collateral, case studies and tips, as well as a cross-country road show, coordinated with state and local chambers of commerce and regional NFIB offices, through which experts meet directly with local businesses to achieve all the benefits of con- necting with customers on the website. In 2012, Facebook Small Business Boost will begin awarding 200,000 businesses up to $10 million worth of Facebook advertising through $50 ad credits. The program will promote Facebook ad products, like its self-serve platform and sponsored stories, which allow brands to build paid advertisements out of user signals, such as likes and check-ins. For more information, visit facebook.com/smallbusinessboost. Organic Food Colors on the Horizon A ccording to the Organic Trade Association, 75 percent of U.S. families are purchasing organic products and 41 percent are reporting they are buying more organic food than a year ago, up significantly from the 31 percent who said they bought more organic in 2009. Data like this paves a path for more organic versions of conventional ingredients. To meet the need, Danish company Chr. Hansen has created an organic food color project. A specialist in natural colors, the company switched away from synthetics in recent years, causing its colors and blends division to grow 26 percent from 2009 to 2010. While it is committed to creating a vibrant palette of colors, Chr. Hansen notes there are roadblocks, such as lack of organic supply. Additionally, demand is small at the moment, but would improve dramatically when regulatory requirements force processors to use organic colors. Denise Shoukas is a contributing editor to Specialty Food Magazine. 124 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com

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